IMPORTANT: Please Participate in our Postcard Campaign!
On the state level, H.814/S.540 are the bills that could most meaningfully lead to laws that restrict the use of SGARs. This legislation would return power to the towns and cities to regulate pesticides by abolishing the state law that currently prevents Arlington and other municipalities from being able to ban or restrict SGARs (and other pesticide) use on private property. Both these bills are in dire need of more co-sponsors.
Arlington as a town passed a warrant that resulted in a submission of a Home Rule petition to the state government to ask for a waiver to the state law to allow Arlington to regulate (and potentially ban) SGARs. This Home Rule petition, is now H.804 and has to be voted on by the entire state legislature. It’s important to get a commitment from Reps and Senators throughout the State House to support H. 804 and vote in its favor when it comes up on the floor of their respective house or committee. The passage of H.804 could establish a legal precedent that would allow other municipalities to also regulate SGARs, as well as other harmful pesticides.
Finally, the proposed House bill H. 825 (formerly HD 577): An act relative to pesticides (otherwise known as the “Hawkins bill”) and its Senate version, S. 487 (formerly SD 1144), is also in need of co-sponsors. This bill would require a state registration database to track SGARs use in the state and promote education and awareness about these poisons. Last legislative session, the Hawkins bill initially had language that would also require pest control professionals to disclose the impacts of SGARs on non-target animals (including wildlife and pets) to prospective customers and get signed consent after the disclosure that these customers still wanted these poisons to be deployed after learning about their risks. This language was stripped out at some point due to the influence of the pest control lobby. We feel it is critical that the current iteration of the bill include this provision and pass with it intact. As such, we are also asking people to urge their legislators to ensure this is added and/or maintained in the final version bill.
You can find the name and contact information for your state legislators here.
Please note, a combination of phone calls and emails are most effective, as well as faxes. You can fax your legislator online (no fax machine necessary) for free using this service.
Most state legislators also have open office hours where constituents can visit them to discuss issues that are important to them at least once a month. Due to the pandemic, there are now usually options for a virtual office visit via Zoom. If such options aren’t readily available, you can request this option. People with disabilities should be entitled to virtual lobby visit options upon request as a Reasonable Accommodation under the ADA. In-person or virtual visits can often be the most effective ways to make an impression on lawmakers. If you can’t find this information online, call your legislator’s office and ask for it.
A volunteer has drafted this very useful spreadsheet that is tracking all of these bills and tracks who is currently listed as a sponsor or co-sponsor.
On the national level, please write to our US Representative Katherine Clark, as well as our US Senators, Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey.
Both bald eagles that died in Massachusetts were in Katherine Clark’s district. Additionally, New England Wildlife Centers, one of the largest wildlife veterinarian hospitals in the state, reported receiving a disproportionate amount of wildlife with rodenticide poisoning from in and around the Arlington area, so Clark’s district seems to be a ground zero for this problem.
Here is contact information:
For Katherine Clark: https://katherineclark.house.gov/email-me
For Elizabeth Warren:
For Edward Markey:
Some asks you can make of Clark, Warren and Markey:
- to become a champion of this issue
- to work with other interested legislators to draft or sponsor propose legislation that would ban or heavily restrict the use and availability of AR poisons, both online and for use by pest control professionals
- to pressure the EPA to pass stricter regulations on AR poisons–or better yet–to ban them altogether and remove their registration as an available rodenticide
- to fight against efforts by conservative legislators to pass federal laws both independent of and in the 2023 Farm Bill that would stop states and local municipalities from being able to restrict or regulate pesticides, including AR rodenticides (For more information, please read here and take the indicated action. If you are an elected or appointed city or town official, you can also sign this petition drafted by Beyond Pesticides).